Ocado revenue increases by 35% in 2020

Ocado saw revenue growth of 35 per cent to around £2.2 billion last year, reflecting strong demand for online grocery in the UK.

The online supermarket retailer reported EBITDA profits of £73.1 million, while loss before tax was £44 million.

The retailer’s growth is in line with figures announced today by research company Nielsen, that show a marked increase in overall online grocery market share.

The online share of UK grocery sales reached a record 16 per cent last month, compared to 8 per cent in the previous year.

According to the research, Brits spent around £1.4 billion on online groceries during the four weeks to January 30th, representing an increase of 121 per cent year-on-year.

Ocado said the grocery landscape is changing “for good,” and that customers who have tried online grocery for the first time have seen the benefits.

“The rapid acceleration of many pre-existing trends in business and society has been a feature of the Covid-19 crisis and the dramatic channel shift in grocery is a clear example of this,” said Tim Steiner, chief executive, Ocado Group. “The landscape for food retailing is changing, for good. As we look ahead to a post-vaccine world and a return to a new normality, Ocado Group is very well placed to enable our grocery partners worldwide to bring the best customer experience to market, responsibly, with high levels of hygiene and superior, sustainable, and proven economics.

He added: “Going forward, customers who have experienced the benefits of online grocery shopping are likely to become ever more discerning. Winners in the online channel will need to offer the very highest standards of customer service and the ability to serve a full range of customer missions.”

The company said that last year it invested heavily in technology innovation, hiring 500 new employees.

It announced that Ocado Technology plans to hire a further 600 workers in 2021.

Ocado said that acquisitions of Kindred Systems and Haddington Dynamics will enable the business to accelerate the development of its robotic manipulation solutions, including their speed, accuracy, product range and economics, and therefore to monetise these solutions quicker.

“Given that the average annual costs of manual picking and decant per Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC)are £7million , and we already have 55 CFCs on order, with more expected, this represents a significant future opportunity for both Ocado Group and its clients," the retailer said.

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